Saturday, February 25, 2012

Day 87 awesome snow, pity it's a Saturday

The snow that started yesterday morning and was still falling last night as I wrote my blog continued throughout the night and for most of today. The early morning measure was 34 cms with the base now at 303 cms (just heading up to the hill for the three metre party) and this has obviously grown during the day as the snow has fallen.

Heading to the hill this morning in very white driving conditions it was about -5 and the snow was coming down hard. During the day the snow eased off a bit and temps at the base rose so that it was +1 as we drove away from the hill although it stayed at minus temps on top all day so the new deep powder stayed in great shape. Conditions were typical Fernie snowfall with the top of White Pass socked in and a cloud base that came well down White Pass during the afternoon before lifting back to the top. Needless to say Polar Peak was never going to be on the agenda today.

As it was Saturday we went to the New Side to avoid all the snow that had been trashed by the various pay for powder groups who seem to gather on the Old Side at weekends. Crowds of course were huge as it is the end of family week and in any event this snow cycle has been forecast for several days. We were standing in line at Timber with 20 minutes to go before the first chair and were nowhere near the front - it was at that point I abandoned and thought of getting genuine first tracks on a day like this.

Lift Line/Big Bang was closed so we dropped to White Pass via Puff Trees which were ok tracked up deep powder. We had a couple of runs up and down White Pass grabbing what fresh turns we could in the trees but really we were waiting for Knot chutes (or at least the Zigzag and the Idiot Traverse) to open so we could get out to Surprise Trees. Eventually the traverse opened and we got some very early tracks in Surprise which as you would expect was awesome and deep.

Knot Chutes opened and we spent the morning traversing into Knot Chutes hitting everything from the Tight Knot to the chutes opposite Gotta Go before cutting left into some part of Surprise Trees or the top section of Triple Trees. Many laps in deep powder were fun but we were always on the lookout for Anaconda Glades which always seemed to be on the point of opening.

Late morning Anconda opened and we were standing by the rope and were the first to hike the humps and put tracks in the next chute where the greatest danger was being taken out by your own slough. Bootleg Glades below had already been skied by people cutting back on Trespass Trail although the trees on the left were untouched so we took them with over the head face shots.

Next loop at the top of White Pass there had to be at least 500 people (no kidding) waiting for the fence to drop. When it did we just stood back as we did not want to get involved in the scrum that developed. We went out on the low traverse (only one open) and with a bit of work got as far as Currie Creek only to be told that the front three runs were closed - we dropped Currie Creek which was a little tracked up but super deep. Next loop we stayed low and dropped Concussion which everyone seemed to have missed as there were still some untracked lines to be had.

Lunch obviously wasn't going to be an option and I took a decision which on balance may not have been too smart. I decided to leave Currie bowl to the crowds and cycle Anaconda which had not been touched since the first fence drop. I had a great afternoon cycling the Anaconda Glades taking a different chute each time and always find a fresh turn or two. Perhaps I would have done better to join in the fight for the Big Three and similar runs although I suspect that after a first run they would have been mostly trashed out.

The only real mistake of the afternoon was crossing the Knot chutes to Gotta Go which turned out to be very scraped out and scratchy although the snow below the chute but above 3's was pretty awesome powder. Final run was Skydive which as I suspected had been very tracked up but still had enough soft snow to make it fun. In any event as I had been skiing then for 7 hours without a break I did't want anything to exciting.

Just getting ready to go back to the hill for the 3 metre party and the talk on snow conditions. As I am looking out at the deck the snow seems to have reduced to a very low fall rate but there is still plenty in the forecast - hope a few of the crowds have to go home tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment